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CVG Article today

Voice Of Reason

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Delta Closes Concourse A, 840 Jobs In Jeopardy

Reported by: Shannon Kettler
Email: skettler@wcpo.com
Last Update: 3:55 pm


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HEBRON, Ky. -- Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday they are consolidating flight operations and therefore moving everything out of Concourse A to Concourse B at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport.

As result, more than 800 employees with Regional Elite Services at CVG will be out of a job on May 1.

Regional Elite Services handles ground handling and customer services for airlines across the nation, including Delta.

The employees were told in an emergency meeting Tuesday morning.

Delta will now handle all flight activity out of Concourse B.

"This change is not a negative reflection on the Regional Elite Services team in CVG, but yet another step in a series of changes we have made to optimize the network and work to return the CVG hub to profitability," said Gil West, Delta Senior Vice President in a statement.

Delta stated they still plan to operated the same number of flights between 160 to 170 flights each day from Cincinnati.


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Statement from John C. Mok, CEO of the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport:

Delta’s May, 2010 Flight Schedule

We have worked diligently with Delta over the last year and will continue to support them to achieve the goal of “right-sizing” flight operations and returning the CVG hub to profitability. The impending May schedule pull down may prove to be the right size for Delta, but it is the “wrong size” for CVG and is inadequate to serve demand in the Tri-State.

Local passenger activity at CVG grew almost 21% in the 3rd Quarter 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 – moving CVG to the top position for largest increase in local passenger traffic (Department of Transportation). Triggered by Delta’s reduced fares, this explosive growth in local passengers, coupled with load factors ranging to over 96%, confirms that CVG serves a large population base with a high level of demand for air travel. Indeed, a major and growing concern that we hear today from the traveling public is that they are finding it increasingly difficult to book a seat on a flight. Air Canada recognized this need and will commence new air service between CVG and Toronto starting in May 2010.

While working with Delta to retain its hub operations and significant employment base at CVG remains a top priority for the Board, the Airport and its many business partners have been actively discussing air service growth opportunities with our other CVG airlines and prospective new entrants. The February 17th article, “CVG: Fastest Growing Local Market,” generated new service inquiries from four airlines that week alone. Since then, the number of airlines interested in CVG continues to multiply.

However, a major barrier to increasing air service at CVG will not be the lack of airline interest or passenger demand, but aircraft availability. Airlines have reduced capacity worldwide in response to the economic downturn, parking many of their aircraft in the desert. Making do with their current fleets for the time being, airline capital expenditures are mostly going into upgrading the passenger experience or increasing aircraft efficiency. For instance, jetBlue has deferred 100 aircraft orders (Centre for Aviation March 12, 2010). The lack of available aircraft is a significant challenge for airlines looking to increase market presence or commence new service.

There is a growing awareness by existing and new carriers that the reduction in air service at CVG is suppressing local demand. Last year’s 3rd Quarter 21% increase in local passengers occurred when industry-wide domestic demand registered a -4% decline. This dramatic difference, coupled with our efficient airfield, best-in-class facilities and diverse economic base will only enhance CVG’s ability to attract new air service when the economy rebounds and airlines start adding aircraft to their fleets – returning service choices and jobs to the Region.


Delta’s Concourse B Consolidation

The announcement released today by Delta Air Lines to consolidate its operations in Concourse B and resulting job layoffs is very disheartening to the Airport and the Tri-State community.

Previous Delta schedule adjustments at CVG essentially removed peak period “banks” of flight activity, for example, downsizing from 7 banks to the current 4 bank structure. However, peak activity through 2009 remained high enough with the 4 banks to require Delta to use of all of its gates in Concourses A and B.

The May, 2010 schedule will realign flight activity to provide greater flexibility for local travelers to travel to and from major markets in the same day. At the same time however, the schedule changes will reduce the number of daily peak aircraft departures from 55 today to 32, a 45% decrease.

Decreasing the number of aircraft operations during a peak period translates into reduced gate requirements, which is the underlying reason for Delta’s announcement today.

We are currently assessing what affects Delta’s consolidation will have on Concourse A concessionaires. Without any shift of Concourse A concessions to Concourse B, up to 120 concessionaire employees will be impacted. The Airport will be working with each concessionaire to evaluate opportunities for operations in Concourse B and assisting, where feasible, to minimize job losses.

Delta remains financially obligated for the leases in Concourse A through 2015.



javascript:void(0); (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Statement from Gil West, senior vice president of Airport customer service for Delta:

We recently announced changes to the Cincinnati (CVG) hub schedules that beginning
May 1 will double the number of connecting banks from the four that exist today. These changes do not affect the total number of departures we plan to operate from Cincinnati, but they will eliminate the large peaks and valleys associated with today’s structure and improve flight schedules to our customers' favorite East Coast business markets. After a thorough review of how this schedule will operate, we also have determined we will be able to consolidate all flight operations to a single concourse, moving all Delta and Delta Connection flights to Concourse B.

Today, our colleagues at Regional Elite Airline Services are notifying their employees that as a result of this consolidation, CVG station operations can no longer support two separate work groups performing the same function. Delta employees will assume full handling of all Delta and Delta Connection flight activity effective May 1, coinciding with the flight schedule changes and the facility consolidation.

This change is not a negative reflection on the Regional Elite Services team in CVG, but yet another step in a series of changes we have made to optimize the network and work to return the CVG hub to profitability. In addition, Delta has made a commitment to do everything possible to avoid involuntary furloughs of mainline frontline employees and we continue to honor that commitment with today’s announcement. As a result of assuming all of the handling, Delta will have a need to increase CVG operational staffing effective May 1. We will give preferential consideration to interested Regional Elite Services employees through our normal external hiring process and we will be sharing more information with them beginning today on Delta openings that are already or will become available in Cincinnati.

It is important to note that this announcement does not change our previously announced plans to operate between 160 and 170 flights each day from Cincinnati this summer, including reinstated service to a number of cities. Delta continues to partner with the Cincinnati community to take steps to return the hub to profitability by focusing service on markets with the highest level of local demand and by implementing necessary cost-saving initiatives that make doing business at Cincinnati more efficient.

Cincinnati has long been a customer-preferred hub because of its track record for on-time flights and hassle-free connections. We appreciate your continued professionalism and passion for our customers in Cincinnati as we make the necessary changes to adapt and compete in an ever-changing industry.



Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Capn Butthead

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It will be interesting to see what will happen. The Air Canada flights to YYZ is a no brainer because there is a large group of travelers from P and G and Toyota from CVG. When I was at Comair we used to do 11 flights a day to yyz full of p and g and toyota employees.....

The thing with CVG ( i still commute from here...not much longer moving to a base thank god!) is there were no gates. Terminal 1 had one but it has been shut down for a long time. Terminal 2 is full with UA CO and AA. With Terminal A being open ( delta still has to pay the lease untill 2015) it will be interesting to see the results. It seems that DL is giving up on CVG and I guess I cant blame them....

But I know JetBlue, Airtran, or Southwest could come in a make somewhat of an impact. DL has always protected the hub but it seems like that is not the case anymore.

Just armchair qbing but it will be interesting to see if there is any movement into CVG.

I do feel sorry for all of the Old Comair rampies and gate agents (now Regional Elite). There were a lot of 15 and 20 year people who used to love working for Comair but it has been torn to pieces so I cant blame them for not caring at work...
 

wms

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DL will pull the plug on CVG, and Mesa with it if they lose in court.
 

andyd

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840 jobs at a subsidiary that provides ground-handling operations

What part of subsidiary did you miss or not comprehend? When they talked about no job losses in the merger they very very clearly stated no job losses at MAINLINE, which is a GOOD thing for all involved.
 

crj567

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840 jobs at a subsidiary that provides ground-handling operations

What part of subsidiary did you miss or not comprehend? When they talked about no job losses in the merger they very very clearly stated no job losses at MAINLINE, which is a GOOD thing for all involved.

Yep-

Real clever. Let's just create a subsidiary for all the rampers, gate agents, and associated people and lay off from IT.

-And how much of a GOOD thing would you think this is if you were employed at CVG? Maybe if you owned a consession at CVG, or maybe paid taxes in CVG (which created such nice facilities in the first place.)

-You can bet some airline is going to take advantage of DAL's pullback and really hand RA and DS a nice one. They sure have earned it!
 

Hamfighter

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CVG has always been my favorite airport due to the incredible work ethic of all the employees there, flying with both ASA and Delta. Always been a joke that cvg is the only place you dont have to start the APU.
That is the type of operation where Southwest will THRIVE in a large way!
 

General Lee

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I don't think CVG ever recovered after the Comair strike.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

SoberIrishman

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I don't think CVG ever recovered after the Comair strike.

Bye Bye--General Lee

Very true,and Delta never forgot it either! Not to mention the Christmas "melt down" So unfortunate.

Comair was once the "elite" of the regional feeds, and now look at it. To be honest, CVG is done.
 

PeanuckleCRJ

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CVG has always been my favorite airport due to the incredible work ethic of all the employees there, flying with both ASA and Delta. Always been a joke that cvg is the only place you dont have to start the APU.
That is the type of operation where Southwest will THRIVE in a large way!


There's been plenty of room for WN to try to jump in there for quite a few years already. Don't think it's wanted....
 

msmb

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Hey General.....Comair never recovered from the Delta takeover! Took the airline with the highest profit margin in US aviation history (20%) and drove it into the ground! Sad to see the good folks suffer because of Delta.
 

Hamfighter

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True, Peanuckle...sad to see cvg turn into a ghost town like dfw. Delta has shut down some of the best operations out there.
 

crj567

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CVG has always been my favorite airport due to the incredible work ethic of all the employees there, flying with both ASA and Delta. Always been a joke that cvg is the only place you dont have to start the APU.
That is the type of operation where Southwest will THRIVE in a large way!

I am not sure which airline's route system CVG fits nicely into, but someone will go in there and really do well. Maybe SWA, or more likely ALGT. I think ALGT in CVG would be real bad news for all the east coast airlines. Right now, ALGT's operations are relatively small, and center around some of the Florida markets and Las Vegas. I am sure CVG would cough up all sorts of tax incentives and cheap gate space, and a lean operation like ALGT could do worlds of damage to the previous big dog.

-Besides-how many people in and around CVG are looking at alternatives after seeing the jackhammerin' their friends and relatives have taken from the 800 lb gorilla in the last few years?
 

another cfii

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CVG has always been my favorite airport due to the incredible work ethic of all the employees there, flying with both ASA and Delta. Always been a joke that cvg is the only place you dont have to start the APU.
That is the type of operation where Southwest will THRIVE in a large way!

Agreed. All the employees at CVG, from mainline to regionals, from gate agents to rampies, all know their place in the team. When we're coming to park, you'll see one guy holding the cones, the other holding the elec. cable, and so on... True professionals, always a pleasure going thru Cinci...On the other hand, TSA @ CVG, yuck!
 

twobits

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Sadly, CVG will turn into what BNA is for AA; or worse. CVG MD-88's will fill the void in DTW when the DC-9's finish retirement next year (All of them, not just the smaller models already announced). The decrease in the high peaks into more smaller peaks is the first stage in CVG's destruction. Another massive bid will clean up the mess with the -9's and moving most CVG based pilots to other vacancies. Retirements will be encouraged in order to avoid displacements to furlough in overstaffed categories, and to decrease costs of course.

DL does not need both CVG and DTW, but they also do not want to completely let go of it to avoid competition moving in (SWA, Republic - or whatever they want to be called).

Of Course, ACL65 will tell us soon that Delta will be hiring in 6 months! Hope he is right, but the reality is that airline management will be back at their normal games. Decrease supply, increase demand and price! That is what everyone is complaining about on this board right? Increase ticket prices to pay what it cost to run an airline; you can't just do that without changing other variables.
 

aewanabe

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Back in my DCI days CVG was the best hub station, bar none. RIP guys. And saying layoffs from DGS, Regional Air Elite, or whatever it's called is not a bad thing is incredibly short-sighted.
 

Bugsmasher Plus

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I don't think CVG ever recovered after the Comair strike.

Bye Bye--General Lee

This is very true. After the strike CVG no longer belonged to Comair. Until then, the hub and pride really belonged to Comair. There was no competition for Comair to operate as a DCI out of the hub.

The strike itself did enough damage on it's own merits, but after the strike, Big Blue split the flying throughout the other carriers so no hub would ever get shut down again and from then on it was never the same.

I was there for the years before the Delta buyout, through the strike and for a couple of years after. It was simply never the same for any Comair employee.
 

Yuppyguppy

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Hey General.....Comair never recovered from the Delta takeover! Took the airline with the highest profit margin in US aviation history (20%) and drove it into the ground! Sad to see the good folks suffer because of Delta.


good..another rj operator put to rest now we need RAH, MESA, GOJET, SKYWEST Dead!
 
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